Remember sick days as a kid, when your mom or dad would keep you home from school, and you’d spend the day snuggled in bed, sleeping or reading or watching TV? Fuzzy-headed, pajama-clad, falling asleep secure in the knowledge that someone would wake you up for your next dose of medicine or bowl of soup, a sick day wasn’t pleasant, no, but it was at least safe and comforting.
I remember I had these flannel pajamas, blue and white and navy plaid, that were soft and warm. I wore the pants with a t-shirt emblazoned with a drawing of a fishing cat—not fishing with its paws, mind you, but fishing with a pole, complete with bait and tackle. My dad brought me that shirt from some fishing trip in Minnesota or Canada, I think. I wonder what ever happened to it? Long since disintegrated, I’d wager, banished to the trash or a garage sale.
I drank Cup of Soup chicken soups, terrible and thin now, but then comforting, served in a coffee mug in bed. I watched Star Wars on tape on the little television in my bedroom after I’d hit about twelve years, dreaming of becoming a Jedi Knight, and before that I read Misty of Chincoteague, wanting to be a horse on a salty-aired island in the Atlantic, far from whatever respiratory ailment had me that month.
Nowadays, my sick days are spent in fuzzy sweatpants and a ratty IU hoodie. I shuffle from the bedroom to the kitchen to make my tea or a savory bowl of noodle soup—no chicken, now that I don’t eat meat—and back again to watch Buffy or read The Shadow Rising. My fiance goes to the grocery store and brings me a Coke when I ask him to, but mostly I take care of myself.
A part of me wants to read Misty again, though, to feel a pair of cool hands brushing the hair off my hot forehead when it’s time to take my temperature. I want to be a kid again, times like these, and just let the world pass me by.